International Day for Eye Health Care draws attention to the risk of blindness
| Jul 13, 2016
July 10 was the International Day for Eye Health Care, and many local and ophthalmological centers in Brazil offered actions to draw attention to the importance of eye care. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 285 million people worldwide live with vision deficit or blindness. In Brazil, 1.2 million people are blind, with 60% to 80% of cases classified as preventable and/or treatable. This means that 700,000 Brazilians would have their sight if they had received appropriate treatment in timely fashion.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, behind only cataracts, according to a recent study conducted by Evidências – Kantar Health. The disease, whose major risk factor is increased intraocular pressure, irreversibly affects the optic nerve. About 2% of the population is affected by glaucoma, reaching 7% in people older than 70 years, according to the Brazilian Council of Ophthalmology (CBO).1
Although chronic and incurable, glaucoma can be treated with various drugs such as eye drops. Because 80% of glaucoma cases have no initial symptoms, the most important step is the early diagnosis, which can be performed through regular consultations with an ophthalmologist. "Precisely because this is a silent disease, glaucoma is extremely dangerous. Everyone should consult an ophthalmologist and know their eye pressure. These are crucial attitudes for everyone, not just for those with a history of glaucoma, "said Otávio Clark, CEO of Evidências – Kantar Health and one of the authors of the study.
Evidências – Kantar Health developed a study2 with Pfizer Inc. that addressed the burden of glaucoma in Brazilian patients and the considerable loss of productivity and quality of life caused by the disease. The study, presented at the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) European Congress last year in Milan, compared data of 242 patients with glaucoma with others in the general population.
The results highlighted the poor quality of life of glaucoma patients, both physically and mentally, with 36% loss of productivity at work and 33% reporting limitations for carrying out daily activities. Patients with glaucoma also used more healthcare system resources, with more visits to emergency rooms and higher rates of outpatient medical visits and hospitalizations than the general population.
1- Colégio Brasileiro de Oftalmologia - http://www.cbo.net.br/novo/publico-geral/diamundialdavisao.php
2- Burden of Disease in Patients with Glaucoma in Brazil. Ferreira, CN; Sanders, KN; Clark, OA; Pomerantz, D; Chapnick, J; Hatanaka, M . Value in Health, Volume 18 , Issue 7 , A415.